Balloch is a village in West Dunbartonshire on the Southern Shore of the picturesque
Loch Lomond, about 16 miles from Glasgow and easily accessible by train or car. From Berwick-upon-Tweed the train journey takes about 3hrs changing at Edinburgh and Glasgow. Balloch is popular with visitors wishing to experience a trip on Loch Lomond or a stroll through the tranquil Castle Country Park along the banks of the Loch and up to the Castle. There are numerous eating places and a selection of small shops to enjoy.
Balloch borders the Kilpatrick Hills and is at the southern end of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The Castle Country Park runs along the banks of the Loch and is home to Balloch Castle. The village is an excellent base for walking and cycling, both the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path and the Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle path run through Balloch.
The name Balloch comes from the Gaellic word bal/baille meaning village or hamlet. Balloch therefore means 'village on the Loch' and was originally a ferry crossing connecting the highlands with central Scotland. For centuries the village was just a ferry crossing , the ferryman's house, which doubled as an inn and a few houses.
When the Earls of Lennox made their base at Balloch Castle in the 13th century the village became better know and started to develop. In the middle ages an annual horse fair started which continued until the late 19th century. The arrival of paddle steamers and the railway in the 19th century saw the start of tourism which has continued to grow until the present day.
Balloch sits on the Souther Tip of Loch Lomond, a freshwater Loch which crossed the Highlands Boundary Fault. The Loch is often called the gateway to the Highlands and the majestic Ben Lomond is clearly visible from the southern end of the Loch.
A cruise on the Loch is an excellent way to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the surrounding hills and distant mountains. Sweeney's Cruises offer a variety of trips departing from the harbour, just a short distance from the railway station.
Balloch Castle is a 19th century country house overlooking Loch Lomond. The castle is situated within Balloch Castle Country Park, surrounded by parkland and beautiful gardens. The Castle was built as a residence in 1808 - 1809 by John Buchanan of Ardoch, a Glasgow merchant.
The original 13th century castle was built by the Earls of Lennox, around 1238. It was built near to the water and overlooked the Loch. In the late 14th century the Earls moved to the Island of Inchmurrin in Loch Lomond. All that remains today is an irregular mound and moat.
|Balloch Castle From Loch Lomond|
Balloch Castle Country Park